Deshaun Watson’s accusers talking with police and NFL, lawyer says

At least eight of the 22 women who filed lawsuits against Deshaun Watson have also met with the Houston Police Department as part of its criminal investigation, attorney Tony Buzbee told a Houston television station on Wednesday night.

Buzbee told Fox 26 that “eight to 10” of his clients have spoken with police at this point, while four have met with NFL investigators. He indicated that four more plaintiffs want to speak with the league, but he isn’t sure whether he’ll allow them to do so, claiming that some of the women who met with NFL investigator Lisa Friel “did not feel like they were being respected.”

In response to a request for comment, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy noted that Friel had a lengthy career as the chief of the sex crimes unit in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office before joining the NFL.

“Lisa has earned a stellar reputation as a consummate professional who conducts investigations and interviews with compassion and fairness in an effort to determine the truth,” he wrote in an email.

Buzbee also told Fox 26 that his 22 clients – who accused Watson of sexual misconduct or assault during separate massage sessions over the span of more than a year – have no plans to settle their civil lawsuits.

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, acknowledged in a statement that the two sides are not currently discussing a settlement. But he said Buzbee had previously approached Watson’s team “on numerous occasions” about a potential settlement.